Athletics News

European Indoor Champs — Big Names Soar

European Indoor Champs — Big Names Soar

With his 1500 & 3000 golds Jakob Ingebrigtsen picked up European titles Nos 10 & 11. And he’s still just 22. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI)

İSTANBUL, TURKEY, March 03–05 — The 37th European Indoor Championships, conducted less than a month after the devastating earthquake in Turkey/Syria, brought double-gold performances for Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Femke Bol (plus a new pentathlon WR for Nafi Thiam). The two 22-year-olds repeated their golden pairings of the ’21 edition but with faster times.

Norway’s Ingebrigtsen — having delivered Olympic and outdoor Worlds wins plus an outdoor Euros 1500/5000 double last summer since his wins in Toruń 2 years ago — first held off a last lap challenge from Briton Neil Gourley to win the 1500. A 13.33 last 100 closed Ingebrigtsen’s meet record 3:33.95 win with recent British recordsetter Gourley at 3:34.23.

Saying he had expected a great fight from Gourley, Ingebrigtsen added, “I love to compete and to collect medals. That is what drives me and other athletes. It is not only about the winning, it’s about winning time after time. My main goal is to become the best runner that ever existed. To do that, I will need to win more races and the next one is tomorrow.”

It was the day after tomorrow, in fact, the meet’s final day. Ingebrigtsen won the 3K by powering off a tactical tempo (3:59.73 at 1500), 7:40.32–7:41.75, from Adel Mechaal, the ’17 champion. Mechaal dogged his every step but Ingebrigtsen’s tourniquet of closing splits squeezed the Spaniard to silver: 1:54.78, 55.04, 27.54, 13.15.

Bol, who like Ingebrigtsen has expanded her medal collection impressively since Toruń ’21, came in having whacked 0.33 from Jarmila Kratochvílová’s 41-year-old 400 WR at the Dutch Champs in February. She had chopped it down to 49.26.

Bol had achieved her record with splits of 23.63/25.63 and with a fuller event card here attacked only a tad more conservatively this time. She grabbed the lead and passed 200 in 23.78 ahead of teammate Lieke Klaver’s 23.91 split. Klaver could not match Bol’s 26.07 closer and was 0.72 behind at the finish, 49.85–50.57.

“Coming to İstanbul with a World Record, I could feel that everybody wanted me to go even faster, and expected that I could,” Bol said. “Unfortunately, it is harder than it might look. I have multiple European titles, but the world title is still missing. The World Record is step 1.”

Klaver earned a gold leading off the Netherlands’…

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